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The Nun II | Review

As Halloween approaches, does The Nun II have what it takes to cast a spell on us?

By Jolanta Gajewska

Rating: 3.5/5

Image: Abdur Rehman Afridi from Pixabay

The Nun II is the sequel to the original The Nun movie, continuing the story of Sister Irene (played by Tarissa Farmiga), the female protagonist.

Sister Irene played a crucial role in defeating Valak (played by Bonnie Aarons), the malevolent nun and the primary antagonist in the first movie. At the start of The Nun II, it is now 1956, and Irene is hiding from her past in an Italian convent. Meanwhile Maurice (played by Jonas Bloquet), another key character from the first movie, works at a French boarding school. Their peace is short-lived, however, as Valak returns, claiming more victims along the way. As the story unfolds, Irene (along with new characters), uncovers new mysteries about her past. Together, they face Valak once more, relying on their faith to defeat the malevolent force.

To begin, the movie’s recurring motif appeared to revolve around one single element: doors; doors, more doors, and well, even more doors. The endless repetition of the same image (creaky doors swinging open to reveal… you guessed it… darkness) felt far from surprising; rather, it came across as blatantly unoriginal.

So when the protagonist is told to “send that thing back to hell”, you can’t help but wonder if the movie belongs there too.

However, there are definitely a few moments that stand out amongst the monotony; the moments when silence prevails, tension builds, pace quickens… and a jumpscare is on the horizon. These moments, full of anticipation, hit you gradually and stay with you. The more cliched and predictable jumpscares, on the other hand — you know, the ones where the music grows louder and the character’s movements slow down right before a jumpscare hits you — are more than forgettable. They serve as a reminder that the overuse of loud sounds does not always equate to more fear: loud sounds ≠ more fear.

As a whole, the actors delivered strong performances and the plot is okay — excluding the moments when the story becomes a little muddled and confusing (sometimes, less really is more!). That’s not to say the plot isn’t good in general; it follows a very clear and consistent line, especially as the stories of the two main characters intersect near the end of the movie. More importantly, the cinematography, including the lighting and visuals, is truly exceptional! The interplay between light and darkness, combined with the 1950s settings, creates an outstandingly eerie atmosphere.

I must add that the first and second movies are shot in a similar style; the atmosphere is sinister, dark, and quite tense, so it is definitely recommended if you want to get into the spooky Halloween spirit. It does, however, follow a narrative structure similar to that of many contemporary horror movies - you know, when the story starts with a dramatic beginning, slows down, and steadily builds up to a central climax until it reaches a ‘happy ending’ - making it quite predictable. So, while it may not be the scariest movie to cast a spell on us, it is still a worthwhile choice if you enjoy a classic jumpscare every now and then and a solid horror storyline - ideal for this Halloween season!


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